Seminar Announcement: June 1st 2016

The ‘Language at Leeds’ Postgraduate Research Group (L@L PGR) is pleased to invite all interested postgraduates and staff to attend the group’s second seminar of this academic year on Wednesday 1st June, 4pm-5pm.

This session will include one research paper:

  • Hannah Betts:Department of Experimental Psychology, UCL: Multiple recent encounters with a word-meaning affect ambiguous word interpretation

Abstract:

 Understanding language involves retrieving the meaning of each individual word in a phrase. Since 80% of English words have multiple dictionary entries (Rodd, Gaskell & Marslen-Wilson, 2002), these ambiguous words can be interpreted in multiple ways (e.g. ‘bark’ – dog noise/tree covering), which complicates the comprehension process.  Listeners use sentence context to guide the interpretation of ambiguous words. However, recent experience is also important in determining how these words are disambiguated: comprehenders are more likely to disambiguate a word towards the meaning they have recently encountered just once (Rodd, Lopez Cutrin, Kirsch, Millar & Davis, 2013). Such word-meaning priming occurs presumably because a previous encounter strengthens the particular word-meaning linking, making the primed meaning more accessible for subsequent retrieval.  This talk will cover recent studies looking at how multiple recent encounters with a word-meaning influence how people interpret these ambiguous words.

The seminar will take place between 4pm and 5pm on Wednesday 1st June. All the meeting will take place in The Coach House, Hillary Place, School of  Education Building.

The L@L PGR group draws together postgraduate students from across the University and acts as an intellectual forum for those students in disciplines where any aspect of language is central to their research.

If you are interested in presenting at the Language at Leeds seminar, please find more details here.

We look forward to seeing everyone there.

The L@L PGR Organisers.

Seminar announcement: December 16th

The ‘Language at Leeds’ Postgraduate Research Group (L@L PGR) is pleased to invite all interested postgraduates and staff to attend the group’s second seminar of this academic year on Wednesday 16th December, 4pm-5pm.

This session will include one research paper:

  •  Joyce Wambura, PhD student, Department of Languages & Linguistics, York St John University: An Analysis of Gendered Discourses in Female Circumcision Songs in Kuria, Kenya

Abstract:

Gender inequality is a global issue affecting women and girls in different parts of the world; efforts to realise equality between men and women are being hindered by sociocultural factors and traditional beliefs about gender roles and behavioural expectations in different societies. In this paper, I analyse three female circumcision songs to investigate how particular gender discourses are articulated and whether they sustain or challenge Kuria beliefs on gender relations, roles and expectations. These songs are part of a larger data set collected during the 2014/2015 circumcision ceremonies in Kuria, Kenya. They were audio recorded, transcribed and translated from Kuria into English. I use critical discourse analysis (Fairclough 2003; Sunderland 2004; Lazar 2005) to analyse the songs as cultural and linguistic practices, focusing particularly on how social actors are represented.  I identify traditional gendered discourses in the songs and examine how Kuria men and women are constructed and how these representations perpetuate gender imbalances and asymmetrical power relations. Initial findings reveal that male dominance and female subordination is the norm: gendered discourses are prevalent with, for instance, women being constructed as mothers, cooks, actively adorning themselves, caring and nurturing while men are active in war, administration and leadership, hunting and offering sacrifices. Men are involved in productive activities that take place away from home or outside the house while women are active in reproductive activities that are mostly within domestic spheres. I argue that the linguistic choices made are consciously selected to disseminate the stereotypical gender related ideologies and maintain the status quo. The goal of the paper is to raise awareness of how gender ideologies and unequal positioning of men and women are perpetuated through discourse with the ultimate goal being to challenge these ideologies as an initial step towards creating a just and equal society.

The seminar will take place between 4pm and 5pm on Wednesday 16th December. All the meeting will take place in The Coach House, Hillary Place, School of  Education Building.

The L@L PGR group draws together postgraduate students from across the University and acts as an intellectual forum for those students in disciplines where any aspect of language is central to their research.

If you are interested in presenting at the Language at Leeds seminar, please find more details here.

We look forward to seeing everyone there.

The L@L PGR Organisers.

Seminar Announcement – December 2nd

The ‘Language at Leeds’ Postgraduate Research Group (L@L PGR) is pleased to invite all interested postgraduates and staff to attend the group’s second seminar of this academic year on Wednesday 2nd December, 4pm-5pm.

The hour-long session will include two  research papers:

  • Alicja Piotrkowicz (scap@leeds.ac.uk) PhD student, School of Computing, University of Leeds – Predicting the popularity of news articles on social media from headline text.

Abstract: One of the key goals for online news outlets nowadays is to engage effectively with social media users, thus prompting readers to tweet, like, or share their articles. Whether or not an article is widely shared on social media depends on a variety of factors, of which text-external factors, such as news source or reach of early adopters, have been the most widely explored. In contrast, we draw from journalism research into editorial decision-making to investigate which dimensions expressed via the text have an impact on its social media popularity. As headlines are often the first entry point into an article, we break novel ground by using only headline properties for this task. In particular, we look into the four dimensions of: news values, style, genre and topic. We conduct an analysis of the state-of-the-art, as well as novel features, and show that aspects of each of the four dimensions correlate significantly with social media popularity, validating our hypotheses on two different news sources (The Guardian and New York Times). We then test these findings on a prediction model of social media popularity.

  • Layne Mayard, PhD student, School of Philosophy, Religion and History of Science/ Theology and Religious Studies, University of Leeds –  Interpreting Experience.

Abstract: Tibetan language is divided into a colloquial form used in everyday communication, and a classical form used to communicate Buddhist theory. There is ample information about written translation of classical Tibetan. Tibetan masters also rely on interpreters to convey Buddhist teachings to non-Tibetan audiences. Although the contributions made to support Tibetan written translation inform interpreters’ objectives, oral translation requires different skill sets in order to be effective. Academic expertise on this subject is limited to two Tibetan language interpreter training organisations, participants in these programmes and those who act as oral translators. As a result, programmes and potential interpreters cannot fully accommodate their objectives in learning, replicating or translating Tibetan. To date, no academic study has systematically examined the process interpreters undergo during and after their training. This paper will address this gap. I shall first review literature and agencies that support classical Tibetan training. I will then consider why interpreters are necessary. There is a decline in an aging population of Tibetan Buddhist teachers who rely on interpreters, and an increase in younger adepts who master another language. I maintain, however, that the preservation of Tibetan Buddhism still relies on those who can understand the cultural subtleties of Tibetan oral communication and effectively communicate this to a non-Tibetan audience. Because so little information about Tibetan language interpreting is available, I will propose a research framework within which to study the development of these skills. Queries would include the academic structure, such as learning materials, standards and assessments. I would also examine subjective issues such as ability, personality, perseverance and cultural background. A concluding section of this framework would investigate employment potential and service to Dharma centres. Interpreting in any language is its own art form – Tibetan language is no exception. My personal experience as an interpreter-in-training for classical Tibetan has confirmed how challenging this process can be. I shall argue that a study of interpreter training would support the continuation of Tibetan Buddhist teachings as an oral tradition.

The seminar will take place between 4pm and 5pm on Wednesday 2nd December. All the meeting will take place in The Coach House, Hillary Place, Education Building.

The L@L PGR group draws together postgraduate students from across the University and acts as an intellectual forum for those students in disciplines where any aspect of language is central to their research.

If you are interested in presenting at the Language at Leeds seminar, please find more details here.

We look forward to seeing everyone there.

The L@L PGR Organisers.

Seminar Announcement – November 18th: “Learning new meanings comes at a price”

The Language at Leeds Postgraduate Research Group (L@L PGR) is pleased to announce its next seminar on Wednesday 18th November, 4-5pm, and invites all postgraduates and staff to attend.

The hour long session will include one research paper:

Greg Maciejewski, PhD Student, School of Psychology, University of Leeds.

Learning new meanings comes at a price [abstract] [Greg’s website]

The seminar will take place between 4pm and 5pm on Wednesday 18th Novemeber.

All meetings will take place in the Psychology school Conference room 2.18 in the psychology building (2nd floor).  The Psychology school is at Lifton Place.

The L@L PGR draws together postgraduate students from across the University and acts as an intellectual forum for those students whose research focuses on any aspect of language study.

We look forward to seeing everyone there.

If you are interested in presenting at the Language at Leeds seminar, please find more details here.

Call for papers 2015-2016

Language at Leeds PGR Seminar Series 2015/16

This is an open invitation to present your research at the L@L PGR seminar series. Presentations of research at any stage are welcomed, including:

  • Provisional research ideas and questions
  • Works-in-progress
  • Finished chapters/articles
  • Practice presentations for conferences
  • Papers ready to be submitted for publication

We encourage contributions from as many diverse fields as possible, and wish to continue to expand the scope of language and linguistic postgraduate study represented in the seminar series. Previous presentations, for example, have related to:

  • Corpus linguistics
  • Computational linguistics
  • Translation
  • First and second language acquisition
  • Language pedagogy
  • Forensic linguistics
  • Language and theology
  • Pragmatics
  • Syntax and grammatical theory
  • Language and social media
  • (Critical) Discourse Analysis

The L@L PGR seminar series for the first semester of the 2015/16 academic year starts in November 2015, and the scheduled seminar dates are:

  • Wednesday, November 18th, 4pm-5pm
  • Wednesday, December 2nd, 4pm-5pm
  • Wednesday, December 16th, 4pm-5pm

Each meeting will include one or two presentations of 20 minutes, each with 10 minutes for questions and feedback.

All meetings will take place in the Psychology school Conference room 2.18 in the psychology building (2nd floor).  The Psychology school is at Lifton Place.

If you’d like to present your work, please complete this form giving an outline of your presentation, with an indication of the session you’d like to present at. Similarly, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email us.

Alternatively, you could visit our blog on which there is more information about the group and a full archive of previous talks and abstracts.

We look forward to receiving your abstracts and seeing your work, meeting you at seminars, and continuing with the great success and popularity of the group.

Many thanks,

The L@L PGR Organisers

Prof. Graham Turner, Thursday 4th June, 5pm-6pm

The ‘Language at Leeds’ Postgraduate Research Group (L@L PGR) is delighted to announce that Graham Turner (Heriot Watt University) will be giving a guest lecture titled:

#BSLEnlightenment: The Story (so far) of the British Sign Language (Scotland) Bill 

Abstract
45% said YES to independence. 56 MPs are representing the Nationalist Party in Westminster. And the spirit of political empowerment has also caught up with the 12,533 members (Scottish Census 2011) of Scotland’s signing community, in the shape of what promises to be the UK’s first specific legislative recognition of British Sign Language. How did we get here – and was academic impact a factor? Where is ‘here’, exactly? And where will this enlightening journey take us?

We would like to invite all interested postgraduates and staff to attend the lecture on Thursday Thursday 4th June, 5pm-6pm.

Following the lecture some of us will be heading into the city centre for food. If anyone would like to join, please let us know by emailing languageatleedspgr@gmail.com

The lecture will take place between 5pm and 6pm on Thursday 4th June in the Leeds Humanities Research Institute (LHRI), in Seminar Room 1. The LHRI buildings are 29-31 Clarendon Place, or Number 25 on the University’s campus map (http://bit.ly/TYxVWP).

We look forward to seeing everyone there.

The L@L PGR Organisers.

Seminar Announcement – 21st May

The Language at Leeds Postgraduate Research Group (L@L PGR) is pleased to announce its next seminar on Thursday 21st May, 5-6pm, and invites all postgraduates and staff to attend.

The hour long session will include two research papers, which will be 20 minutes long with 10 minutes for questions and discussion:

Will Gamester, PhD StudentPhilosophy

Why the Truth Pluralist should Pluralise her Pluralism [abstract]

Jack Wilson, PhD Student, Linguistics and Phonetics 

How do we communicate with gestures? Comparing two theories of multimodality to assess the use gestures accompanying the preposition “around” [abstract]

The seminar will take place between 5pm and 6pm on Thursday 21st May, in the Leeds Humanities Research Institute (LHRI), in Seminar Room 1. The LHRI buildings are 29-31 Clarendon Place, or Number 25 on the University’s campus map (http://bit.ly/TYxVWP).

The L@L PGR draws together postgraduate students from across the University and acts as an intellectual forum for those students whose research focuses on any aspect of language study.

We look forward to seeing everyone there.